Betancourt, Guillen lead Mariners over Orioles 13-8 for 3-game sweep

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BALTIMORE (AP)—If the Seattle Mariners needed a jolt of confidence for their playoff push, they got it at the expense of the Baltimore Orioles.

Ichiro Suzuki and Yuniesky Betancourt each had three hits and three RBIs, and Seattle staged another impressive offensive display in a 13-8 victory Thursday night.

Jose Guillen homered for the Mariners, who scored 31 runs on 49 hits in their first three-game sweep in Baltimore since September 2000. Seattle moved one game ahead of Detroit and New York in the AL wild-card race.

The series began with Suzuki in a 1-for-14 skid and the Mariners hurting after totaling only five runs in two straight losses to Boston. Things changed dramatically, however, beginning with Seattle’s 10-3 win on Tuesday night.

Suzuki had three hits and scored twice in each game, and Seattle scored in 16 of 27 innings and batted .395 while outscoring Baltimore by a whopping 16 runs.

“Things are starting to click for us. We’re starting to get all cylinders going,” manager John McLaren said. “We’ve seen guys getting out of slumps, and we’re starting to hit collectively.”

Betancourt singled home the tying run in the fourth inning and drove in the go-ahead run in a five-run sixth that put the Mariners in control. He went 17-for-35 this season against Baltimore.

Suzuki upped his career batting average against Baltimore to .386, including a .405 mark at Camden Yards.

Miguel Tejada hit his 10th career grand slam and drove in a season-high five runs for the Orioles, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the relentless Seattle offense. Baltimore is mired in its first three-game skid since mid-June.

“They sure came in and showed why they are where they’re at in the standings,” manager Dave Trembley said. “We didn’t shut them down.”

Horacio Ramirez (7-3) allowed seven runs in five-plus innings, but earned his first win on the road in six starts. He is 4-0 lifetime against Baltimore.

George Sherrill got five outs for his second career save and first this season.

Daniel Cabrera (8-12) gave up eight hits and a season-high eight runs, seven earned, in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander fell to 5-1 in eight career starts against Seattle.

Seattle chased Cabrera in the sixth. Betancourt singled in a run to make it 6-5, and Suzuki greeted Jamie Walker with an RBI single before Jose Vidro doubled in a run. Raul Ibanez added a run-scoring single and Adrian Beltre followed with a sacrifice fly.

Jay Gibbons and Brian Roberts hit sacrifice flies in the bottom half to get the Orioles to 10-7, but they could not get closer.

Baltimore trailed 4-0 before scoring five runs with two outs in the third. With runners at first and second, Corey Patterson hit an RBI single as rain sent the crowd scurrying for cover. A double steal and a walk to Nick Markakis loaded the bases for Tejada, who hit a drive into the left-field seats.

“Miggy got the big hit, but you kind of got the feeling it wasn’t going to be enough because the way they were swinging the bats, not only tonight but the whole series,” Trembley said.

After the third out, umpires stopped the game for 24 minutes.

When play resumed, Seattle rookie Adam Jones led off with a double and scored when Betancourt hit an RBI single past the drawn-up infield.

The deadlock held until the sixth, when the Mariners built a lead too large for the Orioles to overcome.

Jones finished with a season-high three hits and scored a career-high four runs.

“It’s incredible to be right in the middle of this. When everyone is getting a hit, you all want to get a hit,” he said. “A lot of guys tore this series up.”

Seattle jumped in front with a three-run first. After Ibanez delivered an RBI single, Beltre and Ben Broussard followed with run-scoring groundouts.

Guillen made it 4-0 in the third with his 15th homer, a no-doubt shot to left. It was the career-high 19th home run allowed by Cabrera, compared to 11 all last season.

Notes

Seattle won the season series 7-2. … Before the game, Baltimore traded LHP John Parrish to the Mariners for minor league OF Sebastian Boucher and a player to be named or cash. … Roberts stole two bases, his fifth game this season with multiple steals but the first since June 9.

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